Do cheap apartments for rent still exist?
Finding a cheap apartments for rent, which actually exist, and aren’t not just some fake pictures with impossibly low prices in a great neighborhood, posted by some scammer trying to get your hard-earned money from you… It seems like a utopian dream. But is it???
Yes, it is… But only if the price really is impossibly low. Because there actually are still enough affordable houses for rent in good neighborhoods. The secret is in knowing what to look for, where to find it, and how to rent them. And of course, you have to take into account that the word “affordable” doesn’t mean the same for everyone. But generally speaking, cheap rental apartments in the Netherlands means any type of apartment, flat or house that you can rent under €1200.
Current state of affordable housing
I know, many of you reading this will think, “€1200, I am not a freaking millionaire”. But the truth is, that is what is considered to be reasonably cheap rent these days. If you look outside of the popular cities or popular neighborhoods, then of course you can get much lower prices. Anything above €808 is considered free sector housing. Below that is nearly impossible to rent if you have not been on a waiting list for many years.
We still find many properties for rent below €1000, every month. But you have to take into account that they are usually quite small, in the outskirts or dodgy neighborhoods, or in the less popular cities. If that is ok with you, you can most certainly rent a house most people nowadays would consider very cheap.
For everyone else, let’ s assume your rental budget for a “cheap apartment” is around €1200 per month. What kind of house are you going to look for, how are you going to find it, and what must you do to rent it?
Step 1: What kind of cheap house do you need?
Let’s start by not being picky about the house. If we want cheap rent, we should accept getting a cheap house in return. Again, I know this is not what you want to hear, but if you want to rent a house this century, and are not one lucky … you’d better be realistic.
Forget about size, location, bath, garden, balcony, furnishing and any other requirements you think you have. Of course, we are not saying that none of the cheap apartments for rent will include any of those, surely they will. However, you should not make them part of your search requirements. If you do, you narrow down the results too much, and eventually have very slim pickings.
So, weather you are looking on your own, or are doing it the smart way, using rentslam.com. You should set your search area as wide as possible and all other requirements as flexible as possible.
Step 2: How will you find this cheap apartment?
Now that you know what to look for, let’s focus on where you can find these so-called cheap houses for rent. Because 1 thing is for sure, if you keep looking where you didn’t find it before, you are not going to find it there now.
Most people search on a couple of platforms, such as Pararius or Funda. These platforms are great, they have a lot of properties. However, they do not have all of them. There are more than 1.000 different real estate agents, some of them really unknown, and they have quite a lot of apartments for rent. These are almost never listed on these bigger websites. The problem is, how are you going to check all of these websites yourself. Well, I guess we don’t have to tell you that we can do it for you 😉
But if you insist on doing it yourself, then you should at least do the following. A lot of the cheapest apartments and houses for rent are actually being offered by the housing corporations. They are tougher to rent from, as they have lots of strict requirements to rent. These can include strict income requirements. Sometimes they even give preference to people that leave a social rental apartment behind.
Long story short, make a list of all the housing corporations that are active in the cities that you are interested in, it shouldn’t be more than 5 or 6 on average per city.
Step 3: How will you rent the cheap apartment?
Ok, so you know what you can rent with a tight budget and you know where you can find those cheap apartments. That is half of the work done. Now the hard part starts, actually renting it.
If you have done the first 2 steps properly, this step can almost be done on auto-pilot. Now it is just a numbers game. You need to apply often and fast, very fast, super-duper fast if you want to have a real chance to rent one of these cheap apartments. You need to the following.
Create an account with all the housing corporation websites you selected in step 2. Upload all your documents, and set the search criteria with them.
Then, you have to apply to every listing they put online as fast as you can. When we say “super-duper fast” we do not mean within 15 minutes of the listing coming online. We literally mean within 15 seconds of the housing corporation publishing the listing.
Bonus tip1: To respond really fast and actually having a shot at renting one of these cheap houses, you can turn on push notifications for your email on your phone. That way you will be notified when a corporation sends you a new listing.
Bonus tip2: If you get an account with RentSlam, we send you the listings of the housing corporations, often even before they do, so it is really worth your while, especially since you will also receive all of the cheap rental listings from all those real estate agents that you can’t possibly track all by yourself.